ICE offers several à la Minute courses which are quick and easy ways to fit in a cooking class, especially during the summer months. I recently attended one of these courses and learned how to make handmade mozzarella. Given the hour and half session, time moved very quickly since I was kept busy in the kitchen and learning. We started with basic mozzarella and then jumped into one of my summer favorites, burrata. I love how refreshing this cheese is paired with a fruit platter for a quick summer appetizer. What was so surprising to me was how easy it is to make! When you are forming mozzarella, you simply make a hole in the cheese and place shreds of mozzarella and milk in the center, close it at the top and let it sit to form. The end result is a delicious, gooey treat.
Following our cheese-making session, we explored several ways to incorporate mozzarella into meals. We made a caprese salad and my favorite, mozzarella en carozza which are dainty grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches that originated at Harry’s Bar in Venice. They were so good I just had to share the recipe below:
12 slices firm white sandwich bread
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices, at room temperature
½ bunch basil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
-Divide the mozzarella among 6 bread sides (leaving a small margin of bread on all sides), top with a few torn basil leaves, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Top with the remaining 6 bread slices.
-Coat sandwiches with flour, knocking off excess. Beat together eggs, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper in another small shallow bowl.
-Heat ½ tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-ince heavy non-stick skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides. Meanwhile, coat 3 sandwiches, one at a time, with egg mixture. Fry, turning over once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then drain on paper towels. Coat and fry remaining 3 sandwiches in same manner.
-With a serrated knife, trim off the crusts, and cut each sandwich into 4 “fingers” and serve immediately.
ICE is offering this class again on July 14th so if you are a cheese lover like me, sign up here.